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File:Elhazard.jpg

 It is a place that dwells in the memory of those who still dream of its ancient glory. A world revered for its beauty, mystery and danger, on a planet of endless adventure. Such a land is known as El-Hazard. If your spirit has wings to travel, even across the breadth of a thousand million nights, imagination will guide the way and the gates of El-Hazard will always be open to you.

When he awakens a beautiful woman entombed in a mysterious chamber discovered under his high school, Makoto Mizuhara finds himself (along with several other people) catapulted across dimensions to the world of El-Hazard. Once the site of an unimaginably advanced civilization that destroyed itself in an apocalyptic war, it is now home to a culture that resembles the Arabian Nights, sprinkled here and there with the remnants of ancient ultratechnology.

Once there, Makoto and his teacher, Masamichi Fujisawa, find themselves on the front lines of a Bug War between the human lands and the Bugrom, a civilization of immense insects. Makoto's life is complicated by his uncanny resemblance to a missing princess, whom he is drafted to impersonate. Meanwhile, Makoto's friend Nanami Jinnai is dropped in the middle of a desert; his arch-enemy, Nanami's brother Katsuhiko, finds himself among the Bugrom.

As Makoto, Mr. Fujisawa and Nanami struggle to help Roshtaria, their new home, defend itself, Jinnai falls into the role of a military messiah to the Bugrom and begins leading them to victory after victory. Only the threat of the Eye of God, an unimaginably powerful weapon controlled by the royal family of Roshtaria, prevents the Bugrom from overrunning the human lands, but when Jinnai finds a disturbingly familiar superweapon of his own, matters begin to come to a head.

Meanwhile, the visitors from Earth learn that the transit to El-Hazard has changed them in unexpected ways, even as they discover that there is a secret, third side to the war. Add to that the revelation that there is more to Jinnai's superweapon than just a means of massive destruction. Plots revolve within plots, and victory may become defeat. Throw in a time loop, lovers separated, family reunited, a trio of elemental priestesses, an indiscriminately amorous teenaged lesbian and some broad comedy leavening the drama, and you have the makings for one of the better anime "miniseries".

El-Hazard is noteworthy for being one of the first anime whose English dub is considered superior to the original Japanese voice work. In fact, the director and other members of the production team consider the English cast to be the definitive voices of the characters, far superior to their Japanese counterparts. The animation is first-rate, and it has a lush orchestral soundtrack that perfectly evokes the "Arabian Nights" feel of the world.

An OVA, El-Hazard was remade/expanded into a TV series called El-Hazard: Wanderers. This series generally followed the same plot outline, but there were significant changes to some of the characters, including a severe tuning-down of the lesbianism (though the hints are there if you look). The OVA version itself had two sequels: El-Hazard: The Magnificent World 2 (short and not bad, though not the equal of the original), and El-Hazard: The Alternative World (which was Cut Short, running to only 13 of its planned 26 episodes).

There is also a manga, which is mostly the first OVA with some of the characterization from the first TV show.

Tropes used in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World include:


 Nanami: (ecstatic) How cute! A wedding between the Royal House and the Phantom Tribe!

crowd murmurs in confusion

Londs: (chuckling) Lady Nanami, surely you jest? This is Galus, her Royal Highness' fiance.

Nanami: (points at Galus) I surely do not. His skin is blue.

  • Jerkass: Jinnai and Fatora, though the latter has some rare Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments, and in The Wanderers, even Jinnai had a big Pet the Dog moment at the end.
  • Joker Immunity: El Hazard without Jinnai and the Bugroms would be boring so they escape all the time.
  • Karma Houdini: Nahato.
  • Lack of Empathy: Galus and Nahato.
  • Large Ham: Both Fujisawa-sensei and Jinnai, especially in the English dub.
  • Last-Name Basis: Jinnai (except for his sister Nanami), Mr Fujisawa and Dr.Schtalubaugh.
  • Laughably Evil: The main reason why Jinnai has so many fans.
  • Lighter and Softer: El-Hazard: The Wanderers, save for the last three episodes.
  • Lost Technology
  • Lovable Sex Maniac : Alielle, Fatora and Parnasse.
  • Love Dodecahedron: More or less; Makoto is rare in that he decides who he's interested in rather quickly and that it's pretty damned obvious to the other girls. The sequels tried to Tenchi Muyo! things up a bit, implying a Tenchi Solution (consistent with Rostaria's Ancient Persian-influenced design). Then again, the girl he's interested in isn't actually present in the sequels, which take place before the final scene of the original in which Makoto is reunited with Ifurita; however end credits of the last season expressly indicate he also manages to get together with Nanami and Shayla-Shayla, and the ultimate hot-springs episode clearly shows Qwarool as obsessively determined to stick to him whether she has to share him or not, as long as he doesn't reject her outright.
    • In The Wanderers, Makoto makes it pretty clear he's interested in Rune Venus early on, and it's not so much about the other girls competing for his affection, but coming to terms with his decision.
  • Magic From Technology
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: Jinnai
  • Manipulative Bastard: Jinnai and Galus.
  • Masters of Illusion: The Phantom Tribe.
  • Meaningful Name: Miz Mishtal, a priestess of water[1].
  • Mega Manning: Ifurita can copy any attack or ability used against her once.
  • Minion with an F In Evil: TV Ifurita.
  • The Mole: Galus.
  • Moral Dissonance: The end of the original OAV in regards to the Bugrom. Apparently, mass genocide is perfectly OK!
    • Don't forget that the Bugrom wanted to conquer El Hazard. It was self-defense.
    • And it wasn't really genocide. The Bugrom weren't destroyed, just sent to another world (though one wonders what kind of problems they're going to cause for the new world they were sent to....)
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Alielle is a sweet girl but also a nympho who constantly sexually harasses girls.
  • Must Have Nicotine (Fujisawa after running out of smokes in OAV episode 7)
  • Mysterious Past: Kalia in the OVA 2. Arjah in The Alternative World
  • Nailed to the Wagon
  • Name's the Same: OVA Ifurita and TV Series Ifurita are very different characters, in both personality and appearance. Though, in a shout-out, TV Ifurita's personality shifts to one more like her OVA counterpart when she's taken control of by the Eye of God (she gets better, though.)
  • New Super Power
  • Nice Guy: Makoto
  • Nice Job Guiding Us Hero
  • No Endor Holocaust: The fact that Jinnai ordered to Ifurita the destruction an entire city in the first OVA and that she succeeded isn't important apparently.
  • Nymphomaniac Lesbians Want Red Heads: Alliele to Shayla-Shayla

 Alielle: Red hair!

 Fujisawa: Oh shit! Someone else is out of alcohol!

Notes

  1. Miz = "mizu" = water
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